Article via Idaho Mountain Express.
New ‘neighborhood’ could be reserved for workforce population
The Hailey City Council has given preliminary approval to ARCH Community Housing Trust to use a one-acre parcel in Woodside subdivision for one home of a possible eight-unit affordable housing community.
ARCH has succeeded in building affordable rental and deed-restricted ownership housing on city-owned property at the River Street Senior Apartments and in South Woodside subdivision adjacent to the Building Materials Thrift Store.
ARCH Executive Director Michelle Griffith presented plans to the council Tuesday for an eight-unit affordable housing project on city property that had been slated many years ago for a fire station recently deemed unnecessary.
The land is at the corner of Woodside and Countryside boulevards near Sweetwater Community and could be used for rental and ownership housing, Griffith said.
“You would be creating a neighborhood,” Mayor-elect Martha Burke noted.
Griffith said funding that ARCH received through the HOME Program (which uses Housing and Urban Development funding) and administered through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association has been used already to build four ARCH rental units and two ownership units in Bellevue.
One of the ownership units is under construction in Bellevue. Griffith told the City Council that ARCH has remaining HOME funds for another ownership home that could be built at the Woodside site.
“This program allows you to identify target populations for housing,” Griffith said, noting school teachers and police officers as examples. She said in an interview that she has a question in to the Idaho Housing and Finance Association as to whether the homes could be targeted only for people who work in the town.
Griffith said in an interview that a family of four who rented an ARCH home for two years are now poised to move into an ARCH ownership home in Bellevue when it is completed. She said thanks to the HOME funding program, the family will pay $193,000 for the three-bedroom home, which is valued at $283,000.
Griffith said the family is typical of ARCH renters who pay $800-$1,080 per month for a three-bedroom rental home, which she said is less than the market rate average.
“They were finally able to save,” she said.
Griffith said that if the city formalizes an agreement to provide ARCH with the entire Woodside parcel, ARCH will have a better chance of getting HOME funding again next year to build more homes there.
A public hearing was scheduled for Nov. 25 to consider the option.